Monday, July 16, 2007

Keeping Cool in the Summer

The summer heat is on! Some areas of the country such as the northeast and upper midwest have had incredibly toasty days already this summer. So how can you keep cool without maxing out the air conditioner and using up a bunch of extra energy?

We will start with the common suggestions:

  • Weatherstripping - Make sure the weatherstripping on your doors and windows is in good condition.
  • Windows - Close shades, blinds, curtains and drapes during the heat of the day.
  • Air Conditioner - Replace dirty air filters.
  • Laundry - Run your washer and dryer early or late in the day. If possible, hang your clothes to dry!
  • Cooking - Avoid using stove top and oven to prepare your meals.
  • Stay hydrated - Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you.
Now here are a few other off the beaten path suggestions to help cool you down:

  • Cooling your bed - In the pioneer days, people would heat up rocks and put them at the end of their beds to keep their feet warm. You can do something similar by filling a non-leak container with ice (hot water bottle works well) and putting it at the foot of your bed. Put your pillows or pillow cases in the freezer for a while to cool down before going to bed.
  • Lights - Reduce the heat coming from lamps and light fixtures by using compact fluorescent bulbs13w Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Twist 4-pack.
  • Clothes - Loose fitting, light colored, cotton clothes are cooler than synthetics.
  • Keep your face cool - Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer and allow the sunlight to warm the house during the winter.
  • Stressed out body - Keep your body from creating extra heat by eating smaller meals. Rest a few minutes and allow your body to slow its pace. Put a cool cloth or face mask on your face while resting to drop another degree or two!

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Good idea about shading the AC unit. Makes sense but I would have never thought of that.